Crockpot brats combine all of the German flavors you love in a simple dish that has only 10-minutes of prep time! Brats, sauerkraut, and your favorite beer are all going to mingle in your slow cooker to give you a simple dinner that is a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Brats in the Slow Cooker
Crockpot brats are the easiest way to combine classic flavors and create a dish that is simple yet delicious.
We are huge bratwurst fans since my husband's family is from Germany and multiple relatives still live there. We eat brats more than any other type of sausage, and although many prefer them in the summer or through Oktoberfest, they're an easy hearty meal year-round as well.
We doubled the crockpot brats recipe to put into the freezer for later because it's a recipe that freezes super well!
Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- Pan-seared brats lock in the flavor of the sausage before slow cooking.
- Sauerkraut and onions create the perfect base for your brats.
- Using beer for the liquid allows the whole dish to stay moist and infuses a unique flavor.
- Perfect for low-carb and keto if you use a low carb beer, plus it's naturally dairy-free. The recipe is easy to make gluten-free by substituting a liquid other than beer.
Looking for more bratwurst recipes? We have tons of them! Whether you want them cooked in an oven, air fried, or in a pressure cooker, or are looking to boil brats before grilling, we've got you covered.
- Brats - we use a package of 5. Fresh brats are often sold in packages of 4 but either will work. Feel free to add in flavored uncooked brats in the crock-pot instead of traditional.
- Butter- regular salted butter, I'm sure ghee or margarine would work too
- Sauerkraut - do not drain, we used a brand that didn't add extra sugar. Any favorite brand of yours will work.
- Onion - sliced
- Beer - use your favorite, but a mild-flavored beer works best.
If you don't want to use beer in the crockpot brats, feel free to use apple juice, broth, or water in its place.
How to Make Slow Cooker Brats
You are just a few simple steps away from the best crockpot brats with saurerkraut ever, so let's get slow cooking! All you'll need to do is quickly sear the meat and then add everything to the crock-pot. So easy!
To begin, get a large skillet and warm it over medium heat and melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in the pan.
Once it's heated, sear the brats for 3-minutes per side, until they are nice and brown.
In your slow cooker, add the sauerkraut (with liquid), the onions, and the beer.
Place the browned brats on top of the sauerkraut and dot with the remaining butter. Press the sausages down into the sauerkraut and liquid. They should be nestled down in, not fully submerged. This helps the brats to not dry during slow cooking.
Add the lid to the crock-pot and cook on high for 4 hours, or until the internal temperature is at least 160F. Brats do well up to 190F.
Want perfect crockpot brats every time? Simply follow our expert tips!
- Be sure you press your brats down into the sauerkraut and liquid so they don't dry out during slow cooking.
- This recipe will work with frozen brats. Skip the sear and add up to 1-hour to the cooking time.
- If you are following a low-carb or keto lifestyle, be sure to use low carb beer like Michelob Lite or swap it for another low-carb liquid. Buy sauerkraut that doesn't add sugar.
- Swap the beer for apple juice, water, or broth if you prefer to make brats without beer.
- Instead of sauerkraut, you can substitute sliced cabbage, bell peppers, potatoes, or apples.
- If you are in a hurry, you can skip the sear step - however, your brats will not be browned when they finish cooking.
- Use your favorite pre-flavored sausage for variety.
- You can easily double this recipe! Simply add 1-hour to the cooking time, for a total of 5-hours in the crock-pot.
What to serve with brats?
What side dishes for bratwurst might depend on whether you want to go traditional German or American style.
This is basically a one dish meal but if you were in Bavaria, you'd probably be served a large soft pretzel, stoneground mustard, and beer.
Other ideas include:
- Hot mustard potato salad
- Corn on the cob
- Roasted vegetables
Cooking brats in crockpot without beer?
While bratwurst and beer together are like peanut butter and jelly, not everyone wants to slow cook their brats in alcohol. Great substitutes include non-alcoholic beer, apple juice, or chicken broth.
Can I use frozen brats?
You can also use frozen bratwurst in the crock-pot, simply skip the searing step and make sure to push the frozen brats down into the cooking liquid. They could take up to an extra hour of cooking time to come to reach the proper internal temperature.
Are bratwurst in the crockpot keto?
To make this a keto slow cooker bratwurst recipe, be sure to use low-carb beer like Michelob Lite or swap it for another liquid like broth. Buy sauerkraut that doesn't add sugar.
More Bratwurst Recipes
Looking for more pork recipes like brats? Crockpot brats are fantastic for those times you want to start dinner in the morning and not have to give it anymore thought. All of these other methods are for those quick and easy times when you're making dinner right in the moment.
- Instant Pot Beer Brats
- Baked Brats
- Air Fryer Brats
- How to Cook Bratwurst
- How to Boil Brats
- Side Dishes for Brats
- best bratwurst recipes
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I LOVE your site! I'm a lifelong bachelor and have been just recently using the slow cooker with pretty darn yummy results, most of which recipes I've found on here. I also quit the booze 20 years ago (this past July) and am extremely paranoid about EVER using any, even for cooking. Is there something I could substitute for beer? Maybe a pinch of vinegar? Or just do without that ingredient entirely? Thanks for all your wonderful stuff.
Sorry, didn't scroll down far enough to see the "substitute beer with...." part. My bad.
Ralph, congrats, that is seriously amazing! I'd just leave out the beer and use broth. A pinch of vinegar would be nice too. Jen
What brand brats do you recommend?
I prefer Johnsonville or the Costco brats! 🙂 Jen
Is carb count including the beer?? If it is, What would be the nutritional value on the carbs if you did not use the beer?
I would just look at the carb count and nutrition on the back of the package and manually calculate the carbs if you didn't add beer.